New Delhi, February 15, 2017
India’s Harmeet Desai and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan rode into the main draw of the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour India Open, scripting emphatic victories in their final qualification matches at the Thyagaraja Sports Complex here today.
Later in the evening, Amalraj Anthony took the longer route into the knock-out stages of the $150,000 tournament, outsmarting Chinese Taipei’s Tzu-Hsiang Hung in a four-game duel to make it to the main draw.
The day’s hero, however, was 19-year-old Sreeja Akula who pulled off a significant upset by defeating World No. 171 Chinese Taipei’s Lin Po-Hsuan to become the first Indian woman to make it to the semi-finals in the under-21 women’s singles competition. The Hyderabadi lass, ranked just 322, won 3-2 (11-7, 6-11, 6-11, 11-3, 11-9 for one of her biggest wins in her nascent career.
However, Sreeja could not continue the momentum in the battle for a place in the finals later in the evening. She put up a strong fight against Wai Yam Soo of Hong Kong, even enjoying a game point in the crucial second game. But she could not convert it and ended up losing 2-11, 11-13, 7-11.
India had two more players in the fray, after finishing second in their respective groups. But, both, Manav Thakkar and Sudhanshu Grover failed to drive home the advantage of home support. Their teammates and fans cheered them on but that could not carry either of them into the next round.
Manav looked good in the opening game against Japan’s Asuka Sakai, winning it 11-7. But Sakai cleverly pegged him on his backhand, not allowing him to bring his fierce forehand into the contest to take the next four games at 7 each. Sudhanshu found Lubomir Jancarik of Czech Republic too hot to handle and wilted away 6-11, 9-11, 8-11, 6-11.
The trio of Harmeet, Sathiyan and Amalraj, however, kept up the good cheer by joining Soumyajit Ghosh and Sanil Shetty in the main draw. Achanta Sharath Kamal, as World No. 62, had got a direct entry and is expected to set into the courts onThursday .
Surat’s Harmeet and Chennai’s Sathiyan, who looked impressive in their twin wins on Tuesday, were equally domineering on Wednesday. The former beat Tzu-Hsiang Hung of Chinese Taipei in straight games and the latter promptly emulated him against Siu Hang Lam of Hong Kong.
Results (Day 2)
U21 Men’s Singles
Tomokazu Harimoto (JPN) Beat Birdie Boro (IND) - 11-8,11-7,11-5
Siu Hang Lam (HKG) Beat Rohit Bhanja (IND)- 11-6,11-7,11-13,11-5
Takuto Izumo (JPN) Beat Arjun Ghosh (IND) - 14-12,11-7,11-7
Asuka Sakai (JPN) Beat Ali Alkadrawi (KSA) - 11-7,11-9,11-3
Siu Hang Lam (HKG) Beat Tomokazu Harimoto (JPN) - 11-6,3-11,16-18,11-9,11-9
Asuka Sakai (JPN) Beat Takuto Izumo (JPN) - 5-11,11-6,11-3,11-9
U21 Women’s Singles
Sakura Mori (JPN) Beat Priyanka Pareek (IND) - 11-1,11-3,11-3
Tze Wing Mak (HKG) Beat Archana Kamath (IND) - 11-6,6-11,11-7,6-11,11-9
Sreeja Akula (IND) Beat Po-Hsuan Lin (TPE) - 11-7,6-11,6-11, 11-3,11-9
Wai Yam Minnie Soo (HKG) Beat Ayhika Mukherjee (IND) - 11-9,13-11,11-9
Wai Yam Minnie Soo (HKG) Beat Sreeja Akula (IND) - 11-2,13-11,11-7
Sakura Mori (JPN) Beat Tze Wing Mak (HKG) - 8-11,11-3,11-8,11-7
Women’s Singles – III Round (Qualifying)
Krittwika Roy (IND) Beat Sutirtha Mukherjee (IND) - 11-6,12-10,9-11,7-11,11-9,7-11,11-7
Mousumi Paul (IND) Beat Harsha Vardhini Calange (IND) - 11-5,11-9,11-9,11-5
Amrutha Pushpak (IND) Beat Selena Selvakumar (IND) - 11-9,6-11,11-7,12-10,9-11,11-9
Moumita Dutta (IND) Beat Priyadarshini Das (IND) - 11-4,6-11,11-7,6-11,11-9,11-6
Men’s Singles – III Round (Qualifying)
Joao Geraldo (POR) Beat Arjun Ghosh (IND) - 11-6,11-5,11-3,9-11,11-3
Ali Alkhadrawi (CZE) Beat Jeet Chandra (IND) - 11-8,13-11,13-11,8-11,11-7
Abdulaziz Al-Abbad (KSA) Beat Anirban Ghosh (IND) - 11-2,11-2,11-2,11-5
Lubomir Jancarik (CZE) Beat Ronit Bhanja (IND) - 8-11,11-9,11-7,11-5,11-6
Quentin Robinot (FRA) Beat Utkarsh Gupta (IND) - 8-11,11-5,11-5,11-9,11-5
Amalraj Anthony (IND) Beat Omer Avi-Tal (PAN) - 11-8,11-4,11-8,11-4
Alvaro Robles (ESP) Beat Sudhanshu Grover (IND) - 11-7,11-5,11-6,11-8
Harmeet Desai (IND) Beat Tzu-Hsiang Hung (TPE) - 11-5,17-15,11-4,11-7
Takuto Izumo (JPN) Beat Birdie Boro (IND)- 9-11,11-6,17-15,11-9, 11-7
Sathiyan Gnanasekaran (IND) Beat Jasper Merckx (BEL) - 11-6,11-2,11-7,11-5
Siu Hang Lam (HKG) Beat Abhishek Yadav (IND) - 10-12,11-6,9-11,11-9,11-8,11-7
Samuel Walker (ENG) Beat Jubin Kumar(IND) - 11-4,11-5,6-11,11-8,13-11
Abdel-Kader Salifou(FRA) Beat Abdulaziz Bu Shulaybi (KSA) - 11-4,11-6,11-5,11-5
Can Akkuzu (FRA) Beat Subhajit Saha (IND) - 11-4,11-9,11-7,11-5
Asuka Sakai (JPN) Beat Abdulaziz Alamri (KSA) - 11-7,11-6,11-2,11-3
Men’s Singles (Pre-Rounds)
Round of 16
Asuka Sakai (JPN) Beat Manav Vikash Thakkar (IND) - 11-7,7-11,7-11,7-11,7-11
Abdel-Kader Salifou (FRA) Beat Ali Alkhadrawi (KSA) - 11-6,11-6,11-7,11-7
Siu Hang Lam (HKG) Beat Abdulaziz Al-Abbad (KSA) - 11-8,13-15,7-11,11-6,11-5,11-5
Amalraj Anthony (IND) Beat Tzu-Hsiang Hung (HKG) - 11-9,11-7,11-7,13-15,11-8
Lubomir Jancarik (CZE) Beat Sudhanshu Grover (IND) - 11-6,11-9,11-8,11-6